At, High Court of Rajasthan
By, THE HONOURABLE DR. JUSTICE VINEET KOTHARI
For the Petitioner: Vijay Bishnoi, Advocate. For the Respondents: None.
1. The petitioner-Employer, Central Cooperative Bank Ltd., Bikaner has filed this writ petition aggrieved by the award of the Industrial Tribunal, Bikaner dated 13.11.1997 deciding the Industrial Dispute No.91/1991 (Arjun Singh through R.C. Shukla v. M.D., Central Cooperative Bank Ltd., Bikaner), whereby the learned Tribunal has directed reinstatement of the respondent-workman into service
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without any back-wages, however,with a lump-sum compensation of र6,000/- as the Tribunal held that his termination from the services w.e.f. 18.09.1987 was illegal.
2. Mr. Vijay Bishnoi, learned counsel for the petitioner relying upon the decision of Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Shri S.K. Maini v. M/s Carona Sahu Company Ltd. & Ors. reported in JT 1994 (3) SC 151 submitted that since the respondent was appointed as Manager (O;oLFkkid) in the petitioner-Bank, he would not be even a 'workman' as defined in Section 2 (s) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947; and therefore, the learned Tribunal has erred in deciding the said issue against the petitioner-Employer and has further erred in directing reinstatement into service. He also submitted that way-back in the year 1987, the services and respondent, Arjun Singh were terminated on 18.09.1987 and since operation of the impugned award was stayed by this Court on 14.12.1998, which stay order was confirmed by this Court on 22.09.2000 reinstatement into service at this stage would cause serious prejudice to the petitioner-Bank and may be with a long lapse of time, the respondent might have achieved by now even the superannuation age.
3. Be that as it may, learned counsel for the petitioner- RSRTC further submitted that the industrial dispute itself was not entertainable as the respondent was not even a 'workman' as defined in Section 2 (s) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
4. None has appeared on behalf of respondent despite service and no contrary legal position has been brought to the notice of this Court.
5. The Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of S.K. Maini (supra) held as under:
"..... In the instant case within the authority indicated in the terms and conditions of his service, Shri Maini was authorised to take decisions in the matter of temporary appointments and in taking all reasonable steps incidental to the proper running of the shop. Precisely for the said reason, Sri Maini had signed the statutory forms as an employer. It should be borne in mind that an employee discharging managerial duties and functions may not, as a matter of course, be invested with the power of appointment and discharge of other employees. It is not unlikely that in a big set up such power is not invested to a local manager but such power is given to some superior officers also in the management cadre at divisional or regional level. The unit in a local shop may not be large but management of such small unit may fulfill the requirements and incidences of managerial functions. On a close scrutiny of the nature of duties and functions of the Shop Manager with reference to the admitted terms and conditions of service of Shri Maini, it appears to us that the High Court was justified in holding that the appellant was not a workman under Section 2 (s) of the Industrial Disputes Act."
6. In the present case also, the respondent was undertaking managerial works and according to his appointment order dated 01.06.1980 itself, he was a manager ('LANGUAGE'), therefore, he cannot be said to be 'workman' entitled to invoke jurisdiction of Industrial Tribunal and the impugned award dated 13.11.1997 has to be set aside on this ground alone.
7. Consequently, this writ petition is allowed and the impugned award of the learned Industrial Tribunal, Bikaner is set aside. No costs. A copy of this order be sent to the respondent No.1 Arjun Singh forthwith.